I’ve been tagged. Erin Tettensor, with whom I shared the Table of Contents for the 2005 Realms of the Dragons II anthology from Wizards of the Coast, has kindly linked me to the latest chain promo/meme for writers. The questions for this particular “interview” are geared toward a book. Erin’s first novel, Darkwalker, will be coming out in 2014 from publisher Roc. Short fiction is all I’ve really had time for while working on my Masters in Teaching, so I’ve adjusted the questions accordingly.
What is the working title of your story?
“Mig’s Rebellion” is the second Janner Kohl story I’ve written. Janner is a mercenary, employed by the Brigade, one of many mercenary guilds that operate in the world I’ve created for these adventures. Mig Daro is his best friend and fellow mercenary.
Where did the idea for the story come from?
This particular tale was inspired by the computer roleplaying game Icewind Dale. Janner Kohl and the Brigade were birthed from my experience playing Pool of Radiance in my early teens, and the love I have for the Moonsea region of the Forgotten Realms that grew from those memories. I can think of many other influences that found their way into this story, and the larger world of Janner Kohl, but that’s primarily the germ that got the ball rolling, if I may mix my metaphors.
What genre does your story fall under?
The adventures of Janner Kohl are pure sword and sorcery. I’ve likened Janner to Solomon Kane in the past, and there are certainly aspects of the relationship between Janner and Mig that give nods back to the quintessential duo of sword and sorcery, Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser. I’m really trying to capture what I love most about those classic stories, while putting my own unique spin on them.
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version?
I’m a very visual writer, meaning that I write from vivid pictures that are in my head. I have very definitive images of both Janner and Mig, though I have, up to this point, purposefully given minimal details about their looks in both stories. That said, I really haven’t spent much time searching out actors that I think match those mental portraits. Off the top of my head, I could see Gerard Butler as Janner. Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, but with shorter hair (and taller than a dwarf), could also work. William Kircher as Bifur, twenty years younger, a shorter beard, but keep the wild hair, is close to what I imagine Mig like.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of the story?
Janner Kohl’s belief that discipline equals obeying orders is tested when his friend Mig Daro questions their captain’s judgement, and Janner must choose a side if he hopes to survive the guardians of a dangerous magic sealed inside the cursed crypt of an ancient barbarian warlord.
Will your story be self-published?
I am currently shopping it around different markets. I just heard back from LORE over the weekend, and they decided not to accept it. As of right now, it is sitting in the submission queue at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.
That does bring me to another “Big Thing” I would like to announce. I will be spending the rest of this month formatting and creating a cover for the re-release of the first Janner Kohl story, “Relvan’s Rescue,” as an ebook. The story originally appeared in last year’s Pirates & Swashbucklers anthology from Metahuman Press (which is still available and a great value as an ebook if you have a pirate lover on your Christmas list). I’ve been interested in testing out the ebook market since Wizards of the Coast re-issued Maiden of Pain in that format, and I thought this might be a good opportunity.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
“Mig’s Rebellion” is just over 5000 words. I don’t think it took more than two or three days to get out that first draft.
What other stories would you compare this to within your genre?
See my answer to the other question on genre.
Who or what inspired you to write this story?
See my answer to the question about where the idea for the story came from.
What else about your story might pique the interest of readers?
Even though my main goal for the adventures of Janner Kohl is to tell a fun and entertaining sword and sorcery story, I can’t help but explore deeper themes when the opportunities arise. “Mig’s Rebellion” presented such an opportunity, and in the process, I discovered a side to Mig that I hadn’t really considered. He really grew into his own as a character in this story, whereas he was presented more as a sidekick in “Relvan’s Rescue.” That was a very enjoyable process for me as a writer, and I hope readers will be just as thrilled as I was by the results.
Stay tuned for news on where you can find “Mig’s Rebellion” and when “Relvan’s Rescue” will be released. In the meantime, go check out the Next Big Thing for these authors:
- Rosemary Jones, another “Young Dragons” author that has gone on to bigger and better things, has a new novella out. “Wrecker of Engines” is included in the Cobalt City Rookies anthology from Timid Pirate Publishing. If you like superheroes, you need to read this.
- Cynthia Ward, a fellow Pirates & Swashbucklers author, recently co-authored Writing the Other (Conversation Pieces); a non-fiction ebook that “discusses basic aspects of characterization and offers elementary techniques, practical exercises, and examples for helping writers create richer and more accurate characters” from different ethnic and cultural background. I believe she also has some short fiction looking for a home.